After a rough day yesterday that began with travel delays and ended with a 4-1 loss to the Inferno, the Toronto Furies faced off against Calgary again today hoping to split the series. Elaine Chuli started in net for the Furies, with Renata Fast and Emma Greco on defense and a starting forward line of Natalie Spooner, Sarah Nurse, and Shannon Stewart. Scratches were the same for the Furies as the first game: Julie Allen, Shannon Moulson-Nap, Carlee Campbell, Emily Fulton, and Anissa Gamble (injury).
The Inferno countered with Lindsey Post between the pipes, a defensive pair of Kacey Bellamy and Katelyn Gosling, with Zoe Hickel, Rebecca Johnston, and Blayre Turnbull up front. Annie Bélanger was injured, and Alex Rigsby seemed to have the weekend off, so the Inferno’s backup today was their fourth string, Nicole Paniccia, who played her college hockey with UConn and Penn State.
The first period was full of penalties, starting off with a roughing call against Carolyne Prévost at about the 10-minute mark. Eden Murray was called for a hook with just under three minutes left in the period, but Toronto only got about a minute of power play time before Shiann Darkangelo went to the box for tripping, evening it up at 4-on-4.
Despite Calgary getting the lion’s share of the power play time in the period, shots were 10-8 in favor of the Furies, a good sign considering the Furies allowed 54 shots the night before.
30 seconds after the halfway mark of the game, Renata Fast ripped a slapshot past Post to make it 1-0 Furies. The shot was so hard it ricocheted out of the net and back out almost to the blue line. The sole assist went to Carolyne Prévost. Fast was yesterday’s only goal scorer for the Furies; perhaps she likes Calgary!
There were no penalties this period. The Furies yet again led the Inferno in shots, though, 10-7.
14 seconds into the period, Shannon Stewart made it 2-0 Furies off a great feed from Natalie Spooner, who went straight to the net and sent a late pass to Stewart waiting on Post’s open side. After some rotation, Stewart seems to have settled in as the third player on the Spooner-Nurse line, and she’s doing very well for herself there.
The Furies’ defense, which was not at its best yesterday, played very well this game. A full night’s rest probably has something to do with it.
Brigette Lacquette went to the box for elbowing with just over 10 minutes left, but the Furies killed the penalty—and escaped a shorthanded chance from Eden Murray. Furies defender Jordan Hampton, playing in her second game back from injury, went to the box with six minutes left on a tripping call, but that was killed off too.
Seconds after the Hampton penalty expired, Natalie Spooner decided it was time for her to do Natalie Spooner Things, and backhanded the puck past Post, unassisted. Her goal made it 3-0 Furies with just under four minutes remaining.
Calgary took a timeout with about three minutes on the clock, but it didn’t make a difference. The Furies won this one, 3-0, giving Elaine Chuli her first shutout as a Fury. The final shot count was 26 for the Furies, 29 for the Inferno—a great shift from the lopsided totals we had last night.
3rd: Natalie Spooner, Toronto Furies (1 goal, 1 assist)
2nd: Renata Fast, Toronto Furies (1 goal)
1st: Elaine Chuli (29 saves, shutout)
- The Furies remain the only team to beat the Inferno at home in regulation this season — and now they’ve done it twice.
- With the Furies barely hanging on at the edge of the playoff picture, this was a much-needed win in terms of the standings. Kudos to Toronto for going into Calgary and splitting a series with the top team in the league (again). Their upcoming three-game series against the Rays in Shenzhen will be pivotal.
- Many thanks to mediajunkie, who provided descriptions of the goals and game action on the ground in Calgary in absence of a stream. Any fun details in this recap are her doing./